The pandemic has led to another big increase in public spending and growing pressures for more austerity. Understanding the last decade might help our thinking about the coming decade. An important question is why, after a decade of cuts, total public spending (pre-Covid) continued to be higher than revenue, ie there remained a deficit. The […]
Boris Johnson has finally apologised – “I am deeply sorry for every life that has been lost and I take full responsibility for everything that the Government has done”. This ‘apology’ was triggered by the landmark moment last week when the UK Covid death toll topped 100,000, a number bigger than the country’s civilian toll […]
This Monday, 25 January 2021, four Bristolians went to court. Their crime: Tearing down the statue of the celebrated benefactor of the city from the 1700s, Edward Colston, merchant and slave trader. The event occurred in Bristol city centre during the most prominent Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest, on 7 June 2020. A demonstration that […]
This is a petty little saga. But what it says about the small-minded, begrudging, arrogant and self-destructive attitudes of this Government is phenomenal.
The Donald Trump Presidency, the US Presidential election and its aftermath prompt thoughts about the UK. How and why have US politics gone this way? Could it all happen here in the UK? How secure is UK democracy?
Liz Price examines the parallel perils of Trump and Johnson’s leaderships, looking at their relationship with the law and the populist agenda.
This is the second in a three-part series looking at the parallel perils of Trump and Johnson’s leaderships. Part one looked at how both leaders have handled the pandemic. In part two, Liz Price examines their leadership styles and their common desire to deny debate.
At a time like this, just when the profound harm done by Brexit is becoming apparent, the government is leaving an open goal for all the opposition parties. It feels as if Labour, for one, is not even making a serious attempt to kick at this goal
Both fisheries and work permits for musicians are a very small part of the horrendous unfolding Brexit drama. However, they are significant because they are good examples of how gravely a massive cross section of ordinary people have been let down by this government.
Liz Price examines the parallel perils of Trump and Johnson’s leaderships, starting with a look at their handling of the pandemic. While we look on at the entrenched division and the violence in the US, we should take a long, hard and uncomplacent look at our democracy under Johnson.
As anyone with small children will know, negotiating skills are learned early in life. Obviously, I do not presume to be in the same league as those who write books on “The Art of the Deal”, but I would claim to have a little first-hand experience to draw on. A grandparent speaks of his negotiating […]
One of the first Kiswahili words I learned when I first landed in Nairobi in 1989 was “WaBenzi”. As described by Shiva Naipaul in “North of South: an African Journey”, WaBenzi were corrupt politicians and their associates who drove around town in fancy Mercedes Benz, while most people lived on $2 a day or less. […]
It is truly astonishing to reflect how much more common sense the conservative party of 50 years ago had than that of today.
There has been some excellent journalism in recent days and weeks, particularly from the Guardian and Independent newspapers summing up events in 2020. Guardian columnist Aditya Chakrabortty recently drew attention to the parallels between the current crises and the so-called Winter of Discontent in 1978-79. Then, it was public disaffection and anger with the Labour […]
After the initial shock of seeing angry men with feeble beards invade Washington and interrupt a session in the House of Congress, including one dressed as a shaman complete with fur hat and horns (I still don’t know what that is about), my first thought, naturally, was of Franz von Papen. Papen was Chancellor of […]
Blackadder: George, I’m in trouble here … I’m not sure your particular brand of mindless optimism is going to contribute much to the proceedings.George: Well, that’s a shame, sir, because I was planning on playing the mindless optimism card very strongly. Blackadder 4, Episode 2: “Corporal Punishment” Sunday morning is the worst time to be […]
2020, a year like no other, has caused us to need to thank so many people. Nurses, doctors, police officers, ambulance drivers, vaccine developers have all done their upmost to keep us safe. And teachers. Teachers who have kept schools open, have kept children safe and have kept doing their job when most of the […]
A letter to Anneliese Dodds, MP for Oxford East and Shadow Chancellor, from one of her constituents. From: Susanna Reece Date: Sat, 26 Dec 2020 Subject: Brexit Trade DealTo: Anneliese Dodds MP Dear Anneliese, I was very sorry indeed to read that Keir Starmer intends that Labour will support the Brexit trade deal, another failure […]
The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) is now allegedly “up and running”. This bold initiative aims, in its own words, to make “high quality tutoring available to schools to help disadvantaged pupils whose education has been affected by school closures”. The website for the scheme has been created to “support schools to access the Tuition Partners […]
The Financial Times reported on 29 November that: “The U.K. has spent more money fighting Coronavirus than almost all comparable countries but still languishes towards the bottom of league tables of economic performance in 2020 and deaths caused by the virus”. Why is this? The government appears to be semi-detached from the rest of us, […]
As an impoverished Britain flounces away from the greatest missed opportunity in history, the words of Douglas Adams will ring in its ears: “So Long, and thanks for all the fish”
Bullying in the workplace should be taken seriously and not just dismissed as ‘unintentional.’ Our Home Secretary Priti Patel has been found to have broken the ministerial code of conduct and bullied staff. Yet Boris Johnson decides to leave her in her post and excuses her behavior on the basis it was ‘unintentional’ and that […]
With 2020 nearly at an end, I think we can all agree it has been an insane, unprecedented and destructive year, both on a national and global level. 2020 has given us the Covid crisis, highlighted the climate crisis and revealed the poverty crisis. This year has provided riots, mass protests and chaos whilst also […]
A year is a long time. A year ago, we were marching towards the 2019 elections and no one had heard of Covid-19. No one envisaged spending 2020 caught up in a cycle of lockdown and release, with thousands of deaths, dire economic predictions, jobs lost or furloughed, and with young people missing months of […]
Back in 2017, the then Prime Minister, Theresa May, told us that No Deal was better than a Bad Deal. May triggered Article 50 and set the clock ticking. She ruled out membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union. This created the Irish border problem, which she was unable to solve. Thus the […]
I’m 58 years old. I come from a middle class, West Country non-conformist tradition: my father, senior partner for twenty years in a good sized Gloucestershire-Herefordshire accountancy practice was a paid up Liberal from Jo Grimond days, my mother, an outspoken 6th form English teacher, loved Attlee’s post-war government. I had a fabulous education at […]
Theresa May’s exclamation of ‘What?’ as Michael Gove effectively dismissed the idea of an EU security co-operation agreement, was a moment of truth. The former Prime Minister has expressed her concern that the government is ignoring security issues in its hardened drive to leave the EU without any agreement – and indeed, without honouring the […]
Save British Farming (SBF) was founded by Liz Webster, a farmer in Wiltshire, with the objective of protecting our food standards and our farmers’ livelihoods. SBF says:The Government is selling British farmers down the river … they want to pass Bills that will ditch UK animal welfare and environmental standards for imported food, flood the […]
What is it our Eton educated prime minister doesn’t understand about poverty, child hunger and government responsibility? There are children in this country who are hungry today. Many people and organizations are helping but are Johnson and the government doing enough? Johnson, his government and the majority of the Tory MPs recently voted against extending […]
The Rule of Six, the Gang of FourThree Musketeers banging on your doorPilates Seven, The Yoga Ten?That’s illegal, begone those menthe question dodgers, the clichéd speakersbutter wouldn’t melt, the havoc wreakersI wouldn’t lend you my oldest sneakerslet alone share my chicken tikkas ditch the ones who lie and feudthrow out the boys with attitudeBoris, Michael, […]